“Wait, you’re a Muslim? But you’re not even brown!”
Emina was setting up a video blog for her interfaith youth service project two years ago. Instead of a tart response to her fellow-student, Emina videotaped her answer, using the opportunity to explain the diversity within Islam and her own identity as a Muslim.
“Nourishing the Balance of the Universe” was held March 3rd through 7th in north-central India’s city of Haridwar, which means “Gateway to God” in Hindustani. Sponsored by the International Center for Cultural Studies and others, the gathering was by, for, and about Pagan and Indigenous peoples and their issues. For me it was unique – attending a conference where most participants were indigenous peoples from around the world, including a large number of European Pagans, but no Christians, Muslims, or Jews.
Seasoned workers in the interfaith vineyard rarely deviate when asked what has been most valuable in their interreligious journey – “It’s the relationships” comes back again and again. My Neighbor’s Faith – Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Orbis), published this month, takes us into those deep interfaith relationships with 53 religious leaders, teachers, theologians, community leaders, and activists. We’ve heard many of these voices before in their public, academic, or professional roles. In My Neighbor’s Faith, though, we get to hear their personal stories of encountering ‘the other’ and finding their lives transformed.